Intern Spotlight: Claudia Merlos

This is the second in a series of spotlights on our summer 2017 student interns.  Learning Life’s students this summer are assisting with research, curriculum development,  outreach, and family and youth events for our Citizen Diplomacy Initiative (CDI).  Claudia Merlos, interviewed below, is assisting with curriculum development, international learning activities with our youth, among other things. 
Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Washington, DC.

Claudia MerlosWhat school do you attend, and what is your year and major there?

I am a graduating senior at Trinity Washington University in DC, studying human relations, which is a combination of psychology and sociology.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, getting in a good workout at the gym, or playing soccer.

Is there a life experience you have had that has particularly shaped you as a person thus far?  If so, what is it, and how has it shaped you?  

A life experience that has helped shaped me as a person thus far is having grown up in both El Salvador and the United States. I lived with my grandparents in El Salvador from age 4 to 7.  I have only gone back once since, but I have acquired a good amount of knowledge and experience of both American and Salvadoran culture by living in a Salvadoran home, where we speak Spanish only and regularly eat Salvadoran food, but also participating in American culture outside home through school, work, soccer and volunteering.

What are your career plans?

After college, I plan to do local and international volunteer work with other non-profits then I hope to work as a human resources officer for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.  Further in the future, I plan to open my own nonprofit organization that helps lower-income Salvadoran families.

Why did you choose to intern with Learning Life?

I chose to intern with Learning Life because I wanted to explore my career options as well as network and improve my communication skills.

What is the most beautiful place you have seen on Earth, and why is it so beautiful?
The most beautiful place I have been to on Earth is Shenandoah State Park in Virginia.  Walking up to the highest peak at sunrise or at sunset to see the mountains, trees, the cities far away and their lights, while breathing in the pure air, it’s really breathtaking!